News May 2007

Diego Corrales R.I.P

Former two-weight world champion Diego Corrales has died in a motorcycle accident.

The 29-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene following the accident in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday night.

A spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that there had been a fatal motorcycle accident in the Southwest part of the city at approximately 7.20pm local time, but he would not identify the person killed.

"All we know is that he was riding on his bike, and they say he was going 100 mph and hit the back of a car," Jin Mosley, the wife of welterweight star Shane Mosley and a close friend of Michelle Corrales, Diego's wife. told

"She's a mess," she said of Corrales' wife. "She was crying and I couldn't even understand her at first. She was crying, 'Diego is dead.' He just bought the bike not even a week ago."

His manager James Prince confirmed the news and his promoter Gary Shaw paid immediate tribute to the former world super-feather and lightweight champion.

"I am proud to have promoted one of the true warriors of the game," he said.

"My heart goes out to his wife and kids. Boxing has lost one of the most exciting fighters in the ring."

Corrales has a chequered past outside of the ring having served a jail sentence for spousal abuse, but will be remembered as one of the modern era's bravest fighters.

He was involved in what many consider to be one of the greatest fights of all time, when he climbed off the canvas in the 10th round to stop Jose Luis Castillo on May 7 2005.

He was known to live life as he boxed, but always maintained his job was to entertain fight fans, not least in October 2005, when he agreed to go ahead with the rematch with Castillo, even though the Mexican had failed to make the weight.

Corrales, nicknamed Chico, became IBF super-featherweight champion in October 1999 with a seventh-round stoppage of Roberto Garcia and cemented his reputation with successive wins over Derrick Gainer, Justin Juuko and Angel Manfredy.

He was rarely in a dull fight throughout his 11-year pro career and was put down five times by Floyd Mayweather in 2001 before his corner had to throw in the towel.

Corrales: beat Castillo
He was then involved in memorable back-to-back fights with Joel Casamayor, the second handing him the WBO super-featherweight title, he added the lightweight version with a 10th-round stoppage of the hard-hitting Acelino Freitas.

But he will be best remembered for the Castillo fight, when he was floored twice but got up to produce a sensational stoppage win.

The rematch was fought at catchweight when the Mexican failed to make the weight and Chico was KO'd in the fourth, and after failing to make weight himself for the rubber and taking a year out of the ring, he was then out-pointed by Casamayor.

Standing at 5ft 10in he was unusually tall and a move up to light-welterweight - and a possible fight with Ricky Hatton - always looked likely.

But Corrales surprised boxing by jumping up two divisions to meet the dangerous Joshua Clottey at welterweight and lost a unanimous decision.

He lost five out of his 45 professional bouts, his 40 wins producing 33 knockouts and he was involved in nine world title fights.

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